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February State Data for Medicaid Work Requirements in Arkansas

Arkansas is one of seven states for which CMS has approved a Section 1115 waiver to condition Medicaid eligibility on meeting work and reporting requirements and the first state to implement this type of waiver. The new requirements were phased in for most enrollees ages 30-49 beginning in June 2018, and for individuals ages 19-29 starting in January 2019. Unless exempt, enrollees must engage in 80 hours of work or other qualifying activities each month and must report their work or exemption status by the 5th of the following month using an online portal; as of mid-December 2018, they also may report by phone. Monthly data related to the new requirements released by the Arkansas Department of Human Services show that over 18,000 people were disenrolled from Medicaid for failure to comply with the new requirements in 2018. Those who fail to comply with the requirements for any three months in 2019 can lose coverage beginning in April 2019. This brief looks at data for January 2019. Separate reports look at early implementation of the new requirements and enrollee experiences.

Disability and Technical Issues Were Key Barriers to Meeting Arkansas’ Medicaid Work and Reporting Requirements in 2018

This issue brief analyzes the impact of the four measures intended to safeguard coverage for people with disabilities and others who should not have been subject to the work and reporting requirements. It draws on data newly available from Arkansas’ 2018 annual waiver report to CMS and monthly data released by the state while the requirements were in effect. The data reveal that few people used these safeguard measures relative to the number of people who lost coverage due to the new requirements. Among those who accessed the safeguards, the vast majority did so due to disability/other health issues or technical issues such as those related to reporting.